Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Yeah, what a title :)
Week 2, State 2: Florida.
Not sure I remember exactly how I felt when I woke up, but it was a feeling of being in a good place. I did my pre-shower rituals on my hair with hairsprays and things, wrapped it in a head wrapper thing and then in a shower cap and made to the shower. Good thing I had a room to myself as I croaked a song whose title eludes me as I showered and got ready to start my day. It felt like a perfect day to wear a rose pink long sleeved shirt, black trousers, with shoes right for walking. There were Epcot buses around to convey participants from the hotels to the convention centre, but that 'good place feeling' prodded and I took to walking instead. Arrived at the convention centre a tad too early for my meeting with the international members of the group and I wandered off to a resource centre to use up my extra time before the meeting kicked off.
At another time between appointments, I took the leisure of walking into massage parlour and the following is the account of the best $15 I have EVER spent. I opted for the 'stress buster' package and submitted my body with my face down to a hunky Latin American masseur who handled and manipulated layers of stressed muscles. He correctly pointed out unease somewhere between my ‘12th and 13th ribs’ which he said was from traveling long hours, in addition to carrying a laptop on my shoulder. I still sigh in relief to this very day.
Afterwards, I met up with a lady from Panama, who I had only met the previous day. We bonded discussing career paths, starting a family, cultures and other spheres of life, over rum and coke with a meal of potato skins, buffalo wings, celery at Fuddruckers. She was slightly older and had recently got married to her high school sweetheart. One, two, three hours slipped unnoticed until one of our phones sent a reminder: SHOPPING!
It wasn't until Friday night came that I realised that I was in an unfamiliar location with no friends in the vicinity. My Panamanian friend didn’t offer me the luxury of Friday night entertainment and I didn’t expect her to, for obvious reasons. There was this other lady who I met a year ago at a similar Engineering women's conference in a different city. She was Canadian and it was her first time in LA, as it was mine and at the end of week we all hooked up to find a cure for our Friday night fever. This time around, she was also in Orlando with a married status and gave seemingly reasonable reasons why she wouldn't be available for a night out. I typed "Nightlife on International Drive, Orlando, Florida" in my browser’s toolbar and the friend that is Google, responded. Showered after a light dinner, watched reruns of Family Guy and BET's Wendy Williams show which I wasn't a fan of but for some reason couldn’t flip the channel. At 12:30am I threw on a number, did a routine check for my ID, money, camera, and headed out on my own. I started with the "Backstage" which was on the ground floor of my hotel, enjoyed the music and the attention from being a brown female in a white bar and later hit the road to find some other forms of nocturnal activity in Orlando at 2a.m. Did a bit of sightseeing and photography, and headed back when I was done for the night.
Saturday night was way more eventful ;)